tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN March 16, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
mitch mcconnell and ted cruz, harry reid, nancy pelosi. get some people in there that can actually get some stuff done. host: that will wrap it up. all of our coverage tonight 8:00 eastern here on c-span. the house gaveling in to take up a bill dealing with small broadband. by our chaplain, father conroy. us pray. onroy: let merciful god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. we ask your blessing upon this assembly and upon all who call upon your name. send your spirit to fill their hearts with those divine gifts you have prepared for them. may your grace find expression in their compassion for the weak and the poor among us and may your mercy and courage, goodwill in all they do and accomplish this day. as the members of the people's
house face the demands of our time, grant them and us all your peace and strength, that we might act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with you. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from west virginia, mr. jenkins. mr. jenkins: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to 15 questions for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle.
for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina eek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, this weekend we learned that isil-daiish has continued their use of chemical attacks against innocent civilians, including children, with two attacks in northern iraq. over 600 people suffered burns, suffocation, dehydration and sadly a young child, fatima, died from saturday's murderous attack. officials have confirmed that isil has used chlorine and low-grade mustard gas to kill and incapacitate and insight fear. recent news reports say isil developed a unit for chemical and biological attacks, which is a threat to american families. it is said that the president's legacy of weakness, he has not submitted a plan to defeat isil to congress, and has repeatedly belittled the threat of mass murder to american families. his legacy of failure is drowned children fleeing from violence and dead children from chemical attack. i am grateful that the house of representatives took a decisive
stance against isil this week, accurately calling their actions against christians and other religious minorities as genocide. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we may the president by his actions never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. schiff: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.con.res. 75, which was passed unanimously monday evening by the house. i regret a family commitment kept me from being present for the vote on this important bill which i'm proud to co-sponsor. it has been with who aror and dismay we watched the barbaric acts of isil against ethnic and religious minorities in syria and iraq. proud people including christians who have lived there for centuries have been wiped out in a campaign of rape and murder. the acts by isil qualify as
genocide and must be called as such. the global community has a duty stemming both from the convention and humanity to destroy and defeat isil and provide safe haven for those fleeing these acts. ethnic -- those responsible must face justice. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in recognition of women's history month. mr. benishek: since president obama's administration, we have designated the month of march as a time to acknowledge the enormous impact that generations of women have had on all of our lives. i have been molested to have many strong women in my life. there the medical professionals who worked by my side at the v.a. and the memorial hospital
to the strong women in my family. finally, to the many members of congress i am humbled to serve beside today. it is important to recognize the diverse and irreplaceable contribute shubs of -- contributions these women and so many others made to our society while also acknowledging there is still much work to be done. while we recognize women's history month this march, we should honor the important role that women play in our society every day and do our part to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to make their mark. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection so ordered. mr. mcnerney: i rise in recognition of brain awareness week. part after global campaign to increase public awareness about the benefits of research and the progress made to address traumatic brain injuries. t.b.i.s are a significant health issue affecting our
service members, veterans, athletes, and ordinary citizens. military members are at an increased risk for t.b.i. for sustaining a t.b.i. compared to civilians. that's why i authored a law requiring the v.a. to assess its capacity to treat veterans with t.b.i. and to develop policies for t.b.i. care and rehabilitation. i recently the stanford neuro sigh tense institute to see how research can treat brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy or c.t.e., a condition that typically affects people who experience repeated brain traumas. just this week the nfl admitted that there is a connection between football and c.t.e. i urge my colleagues to join me in recognizing brain awareness week. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to
address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> thaupping, mr. speaker. mr. mckinley: i rise today in honor of the brigadier general watson, a hancock county, west virginia resident, who was recently recognized by the 2016 west point distinguished graduate. i'm honored to count doc and his wife as my friends. and i can't think of a man more deserving of this award. he graduated from the academy in 1956 and began the 30-year career in the army. including two tours of vietnam. a member of the air cavalry, he piloted huies under fire. was one of the most highly decorated officers in vietnam, and was awarded the distinguished service cross, five silver stars, and two purple hearts. after vietnam, he continued his service and heaped establish a training center where our soldiers prepare for deployment overseas. in retirement, he's remained an active alumni at the
university. at the academy and frequently travels to west point to give lectures to cadets and leading boost for their rugby team. he's a true role model for america and we should all strive to ascribe his virtues. through a life of service, he has proven how dedication, pragmatism, and patriotism can help make this country great again. i yield back the balance of my time the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. chu: i rise today to honor the memory of mr. lewis vannersle by introducing a bill to rename a post office in his memory. his incredible life is the true example of the american dream. he arrived in the united states as an immigrant from the netherlands in 1917, and
enlisted in the us you army the very next day. he learned english while working in the kitchen before moving on to the battlefield. for his acts of bravery that saved over 1,000 american lives on a single mission, mr. vannersle was awarded our nation's highest honor, the medal of honor. after the war, he moved to my district in the city of sierra ma devil ray to raise his family. when world war ii began, he along with his three sons, re-enlisted, this time serving in the marines. an immigrant, veteran, father, and husband he exemplified surge and service to his country. it is my honor to memorialize him forever in this way. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
mr. mooney: mr. speaker, west virginia's families are struggling to make ends meet due to the war on coal. as coal mines close due to crushing regulations from this administration, families are forced to make tough choices to survive. heidi lawrence lives with her family in sigh loan, west virginia. her husband lost his coal mining job more than five months ago. here's her story. quote, we are doing everything we can due to pay our bills and raise our three kids. we have already lost vehicles because it takes everything that he makes in unemployment to pay the house payment and power bills. two things that we have to try to keep. not to mention all the other bills that just don't get paid because we can't afford them. mr. jenkins: my husband is a hardworking man. he has worked for eight years in the coal mines for what we
have and we are now losing it. mr. speaker, heidi is a true west virginia coal voice. her family is an example of what happens when washington gulates our coal jobs out of existence. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from delaware seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to show my support for americans of all ages who have been affected by bleeding disorders. last month i met with coal -- dole, a 10-year-old from my home state of delaware. he and his family struggle to afford the treatments he relies on. hearing his story underline the financial burden deezzes like hemophilia plays on many hardworking americans. mr. carney: hundreds of thousands of families across our country shoulder the financial and emotional hardships that come with
bleeding disorders. that's why i'm speaking today in recognition of bleeding disorders awareness month. this is not only an opportunity to raise awareness, but also a chance to stress the importance of continued funding for research on diseases like this. in delaware we are lucky to have the moore center for cancer and blood disorders. their research efforts are leading the way to better treatments for those with bleeding disorders. but it's not enough. i urge all my colleagues to support research for these and other diseases so that those with chronic illnesses can look forward to a brighter future. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to congratulate penn state university which is located in the fifth congressional district on receiving nearly an $18 million grant from the national science foundation.
these grant funds will be used over the next five years to be dedicated to the growth of two dimensional crystals in order to research how they can be used in the next generation electronics. a very technical work which at times involves the use of materials only a few atoms thick. eventually this reserve is expected to play a significant role in the development of electronics which are faster, use less energy, and can be built on flexible surfaces. this research institute was only one of two in the nation awarded the by the national science foundation. i'm proud to see such groundbreaking research happening at penn state. it stands as proof the university's national leadership in the area of research, along with the testament of the skills of the faculty. i know this funding will be put to great use. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. or what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek
wreck nix? -- recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. last thursday my office hosted the first ever georgia 12 youth leadership summit at georgia southern university. over 400 students and educators from around georgia's 12th congressional district represented their high schools at the summit. i was amazed by the turnout. the energy of the students was inspiring. many thanks to colonel sam anderson, garrison commander at fort gordon, stephanie miller, morning host of hot country hits y-96. mr. allen: the coach at georgia southern university, and congressman tom graves for sharing their experiences with these leaders. these students are the future leaders of georgia and our contry. and i want them to realize their potential and i want to see them succeed. i'd like to give a special thanks to georgia southern university for hosting us and members of my staff for their hard work in organizing and setting up this event. our district is very fortunate
to have these great students and educators. it was evidence that the young folks of georgia 12 are exceptional class of leaders who will step up to any occasion. what a wonderful honor it was to host this important event last thursday in georgia. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize colonel frederick van horn for more than 20 years of dedicated service at georgia military college, an outstanding educational institution in georgia. prior to his tenure at g.m.c., colonel van horn honorably served our nation in the u.s. army, where he completed three tours of duty in germany, one in italy, and a two-year combat tour in vietnam. his military achievements and medals include a purple heart.
colonel van horn wore many hats at g.m.c., including commander of cadets, dean of students, adjunct professor of ethics, director of character education, executive vice president and interim president. but i commend him most for instilling the core values of honor, duty and country into our students and preparing the next generation for the challenges of the upcoming decades. mr. hice: he's distinguished himself as a servant leader of the highest character and integrity. mr. speaker, it's my honor to ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating colonel van horn on his retirement and for his dell dill -- diligent, effective and ardent leadership to g.m.c. and our nation. i'm grateful to have him in the 10th district of georgia. i sincerely thank him for his service and unyielding commitment to our state and i wish fred and his family the best on his retirement. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair lays before the house
a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on march 16, 2016, at 9:20 a.m. that the senate passed senate 337. signed, sincerely, karen l. h.s.a. -- hass. -- haas.
the speaker pro tempore: without the gentleman -- from oregon is recognized for his -- to state his bill. the title of his -- mr. walden: mr. speaker, i ask that we call up h.r. 4596, the small business broadband deployment act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 339, h.r. 4596, a bill to ensure that the small business providers of broadband internet access service can devote resources to broadband deployment rather than compliance with cumbersome regulatory requirements. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 640, the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on energy and commerce, printed in the bill, shall be considered as adopted and the bill as amended shall be considered read. the gentleman from oregon, mr.
walden, and the gentleman from iowa, mr. loebsack, each will control 30 minutes. the chair to -- now recognizes the gentleman from oregon. mr. walden: mr. chairman, thank you very much. i would yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. walden: mr. chairman, one of the most important responsibilities we have as a congress, i think, is to protect and advocate for those who may not have the power themselves or the influence or the armies of lawyers to contend with red tape that all too often is created by our own government. the bill we're considering today helps them. .t does just that it relieves and we believe had -- it relieves, we believe, an unnecessary regulatory burden on really small internet service providers, the little i.s.p.'s out there all over our districts and across the land, that are struggling to compete in this marketplace. by extending an exemption to the federal communications commission's enhanced transparency rules, this bill allows these small businesses to focus on their core mission,
which by the way is providing broadband internet access to customers all across america. over the last few months, we've spent a great deal of time focused on this issue. we first raised concerns with the federal communications commission itself in a november letter from the republican members of the communications and technology subcommittee. as well as the small business committee. we urged the chairman of the federal communications commission, tom wheeler, to not only make the exemption that they'd already had in their rules permanent, but also to raise that threshold for defining what a small business is, to bring it in line with the definitions previously blessed by the small business administration itself. well, the f.c.c. instead extended the exemption for just one year. that's hardly time enough from these very onerous reporting requirements to make a difference. one-year extension. despite the overwhelming support in the record for permanent
extension, it was clearly congress needed to -- it was clear congress needed to act because the f.c.c. wouldn't. so i introduced a discussion draft, to get the conversation going, that would permanently extend the exception and would increase the threshold by defining a small business to match the definition used by the small business administration itself. well, we had a hearing in january on this draft, we heard from a small business, an internet service provider from a small community who shared the dilemma, that i think was indicative of what other small i.s.p.'s face in these circumstances. should they put up new equipment and expand and improve their service, or, if they have to comply with all this reporting requirements, called for by the f.c.c., they said, look, i'm going to have to spend the money instead on hiring lawyers and other compliance officers to meet a reporting requirement that's new. should they improve service for customers?
or should they devote those financial resources to sifting through regulatory language and drafting expensive and extensive reports on esoteric metrics like pact loss? now, often these small internet service providers provide service to areas of the country that are rural, very rural, remote, or may not be as easy to serve or provide competitive options to customers, to consumers, of larger i.s.p.'s. we should be making all efforts to promote the viability of these upstarts, these businesses, these small entrepreneurs that are trying to fill the gaps, serve and compete in these this very competitive marketplace -- in this very competitive marketplace. we shouldn't be saddling them with additional requirements designed to snuff them out basically. and that would make it more difficult for them to do the business that they want to participate in. while there was some initial disagreements about how to ease some of these regulatory burdens, mr. chairman, representative loebsack and i were able to come to a compromise through some very
serious negotiations. worked out well. legislative process. we both agreed there's a problem, we said, ok, i don't really like this number, what about that number, we said, we kept a focus on the mission and on the goal, which was to prevent this overreach of the federal government in the regulatory realm. so in our amended bill we extend the exemption from this reporting requirement to five years. seems like a reasonable number. this gives greater regulatory certainty to these very small internet service providers, looking for stability and predictability, when they're making some frankly pretty expensive investment decisions on equipment and access and expansion. in addition, we increased the threshold for what's defining a small business, from what the f.c.c. had, and required the federal communications commission to report back to congress on this exception. along with data about how small i.s.p.'s, that is currently
lacking. they don't have all the data we think they need. we're telling the f.c.c. go look at this, tell us what it means, come back to us. and we put a sunset on this as well. so congress will have the opportunity in a couple of years to come back and say, this makes sense, does it still make sense, is it in the best interest of consumers and innovation and development of technology in the marketplace? in the end, i think this legislation represents a really solid, thoughtful compromise that will relieve the burdens for our smallest internet service providers while leaving in place really important protections for consumers, mr. chairman. see, this is does not whipe -- this does not whipe out what they have to do to -- wipe out what they have to do to serve customers, the laws for that, that stays. we just said, you don't have to do this really burdensome, costly technical reporting to the government. it's important to note that this bill does not affect the bright line rules for managing traffic, or the transparency rules adopted in the f.c.c.'s 2010
rules, customers will continue to have access to those disclosures they have come to expect, with the information needed to make informed decisions about their internet service. so i'd like to thank my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and the ranking member of the subcommittee, ms. eshoo, as well as certainly mr. loebsack, for working well with us on this bill. and i'd like to particularly thank kelsey from the majority committee staff and ashley from representative loebsack's staff. i hope i said that right. for their hard work in getting together and working this out. this bipartisan process has resulted in a strong piece of legislation that i'm confident will actually protect many. and promote continued network investment and buildout by small business so we have a more vibrant, competitive marketplace and more service in areas that otherwise might never get access to high speed broadband, which as you know, mr. chairman, is really important in places like tennessee and oregon and iowa. this legislation represents a
commonsense approach to a problem that directly impacts so many of our constituents. and this solution will enable our country to continue its leadership in broadband deployment. so i would urge my colleagues to join us in this bipartisan legislation. i thank you for allowing us to bring this bill to the house and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from iowa is recognized. mr. loebsack: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. loebsack: mr. chair, broadband development is a critical issue for my home state of iowa, as it is for congressman walden's home state of oregon, as it is for so many rural areas in particular. we all know how important internet access is for our constituents. our students need access to the internet to do their homework, our businesses need the internet to participate in the global economy, and engage in the ever-growing world of ecommerce, our health care providers need
internet access to serve patients with innovative telemedicine tools, our constituents simply can't compete in the 21st century economy that we live in without access to the internet. it's really that simple. broadband development is especially important in our country's rural broadband development is especially important in our country's rural areas. less than half, only 47% of americans living in rural areas have access to broadband. and we as legislators need to do what we can to get these essential services to our constituents. this bill is a commonsense, bipartisan measure and i thank congressman walden for working with me on this bill, that will help small internet service providers throughout the country deploy broadband and serve our constituents. in my home state of iowa, we have 134, that's 134, we have 99 counties, but 134 individual small i.s.p.'s.
the smallest provider in our state is based in my district and serves only 100 subscribers. as a whole, these companies serve a median of only 750 subscribers. i'm proud of the work done by these small businesses to serve the families and businesses that live on farms or in small towns that otherwise might not have any options. small i.s.p.'s do not have the resources that the bigger guys do. and that's the important thing to remember with this bill. i support the f.c.c.'s enhanced transparency rules, and i think it's important to make sure that consumers have the information they need to make informed decisions and to make sure they are protected. but it is also important that we find a balance, providing consumers with technical information about their internet and making sure that consumers have access in the first place. i heard from small businesses in my district these rules will pose a significant burden. the rules as proposed by the
f.c.c., and consume critical resources. limiting their potentially -- potentially limiting their ability to invest in broadband development. for example, they have told me they would have to buy special equipment to measure things like packet loss on their internets -- networks. these are companies that may have only one technician on staff so you can imagine the burdens. and to address these burdens this bill would continue the exception of small business from the enhanced trp rules for five years. it also instructs the f.c.c. to gather data to determine the impact of these rules so we can revisit this issue down the oad. when we revisit the issue we'll have the opportunity the best way to implement these important consirmse protections going forward. the short-term exception gives small i.s.p.'s much needed certainty, allowing them to focus their resources on broadband employment and thus
serving their customers. i'm glad that mr. walden and i were able to work together on a bipartisan compromise and i thank our respective staffs as well. they did a great job. and while the original bill would have permanently exempted companies from the f.c.c. rule, this bill sunsets after five years, giving companies time to comply and giving the f.c.c. time to report back to congress on the real impact of these rules on consumers. the original bill would have -- would have also exempted companies with 500,000 subscribers and 1,500 employees. i and others on the subcommittee were concerned that this threshold was simply too high and we were able to come to an agreement to exempt i.s.p.'s serving half that many subscribers. so this bill before us will give the certainty that small i.s.p.'s need and it will help us achieve what i think we are all working for here, which is both expanded broadband access and the consumer protections that are needed by our constituents.
with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. walden: thank you for that. i'd now like to yield such time as he may consume to the very capable and able vice chair of the subcommittee on communications and technology, the man from ohio who has done incredible work on a whole range of these communications issues, mr. latta. mr. latta: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 4596, the small business broadband employment act. i.s.p.'s serving rural america like my area and allows them on improving services for consumers. the federal communication commission's 2015 open internet order included enhanced transparency rules for i.s.p.'s, requiring disclosure of commercial terms for prices and other fees, and a number of complicated performance metrics.
recognizes the-t would fall disproportionately on small service providers. and it temporarily exempted i.s.p.'s with 100 subscribers or fewer. today's action would extend it to five years and expand the definition of small broadband providers to fewer than 250,000 subscribers. this commonsense proposal will help small, rural broadband providers across my district focus on investing in networks, deploying broadband, and improving connectivity, and creating jobs. i think chairman upton and walden, ranking member pallone, and congressman low jack for working together on this bill. aim he proud to support h.r. 4596 and believe it will help protect vital small i.s.p.'s who serve all our constituents. i thank the gentleman for yielding and i yield back. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio yields back. the gentleman from iowa is recognized. mr. loebsack: i must apol guise
to the speaker for calling him mr. chair. my good friend from california reminded me of that. mr. speaker, at this point i would like to yield one minute to the gentlewoman from california, the ranking member of the subcommittee on communications and technology, ms. eshoo. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman california is recognized for up minute. ms. eshoo: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i rise in support of this bill, 4596. it's the small business broadband deployment act. there has been a lot said about it. and anyone that tunes in, it's not as complicated as it sounds. we know what the internet represents. we know we want to expand broadband in our country. we know especially in the rural areas of our country that that broadband and all that it represents has not reached everyone. and there are many small businesses that are working hard to bring broadband into
the areas where people do not have access. but we also have some critical protections for the consumers of broadband. and we wanted to make sure that we could protect the consumer but also not burden the small businesses. and that's what this legislation represents. so i'm pleased that the bill includes a five-year sunset provision which is going to provide the f.c.c. more time to study whether or not the exemption should be made permanent, and how a small i.s.p. should be defined. so long story short, i think that this is a good bill. it represents a bipartisan effort. and i hope it works out the way the promises are being made about it. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. walden: mr. speaker, could
i inquire how much time each side has? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon has 21 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from iowa has 24 minutes remaining. mr. walden: thank you, mr. speaker. at this point i'd like to yield such time he may consume to the distinguished and very effective majority leader of the united states house of representatives, the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i thank him for his work on this. mr. speaker, government policy is stuck in the past. regulators from the 20th century agencies are trying to manage and control a 21st century world. and it isn't working. the world is too complex in individual situations or too unique for a big bulky government to try and apply standards to everyone. and every time government tries to micromanage the markets or the free exchange of ideas or
the development of new technology, our country and our people fall behind. we lose out on new companies, new jobs, and new services. so in the house, we want to free innovators from silicon valley to boston by removing the obstacles that hold us back. we want breakthrough technologies and positive disruption that ensures american leadership around the world and brings government itself into the 21st crentry. it is our innovation nishtifment and today -- initiative. and today thanks to greg walden, we have the first bill on the floor. protecting the internet for hundreds of thousands of users. the internet is arguably the most dynamic contributor to a growing economy. and higher quality of life in the world. it delivers information and education, supports new business and works, and increases our ability to communicate and experience the world.
right now small internet service providers that bringing internet to homes and businesses in less populated parts of the united states worry that the washington bureaucracy will swoop in and impose regulations on them. and this will create a compliance burden that could put them out of business. these small providers don't have enough resources to navigate the bureaucratic maze and bring broadband to communities at the same time. and if these small internet service providers go under, it could leave many people with limited internet access and no access at all. the administration delayed these rules once. but that was only temporary. these small internet providers need permanent relief so they can focus on doing the job of delivering internet to the american people. so, we are passing a bill today that lifts these regulations on small providers for good. we need to take every opportunity we can to create the space for innovation to
thrive in this contry. that's the purpose of our innovationishive -- initiative. that's how we can make a more prosperous america that works for everyone. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from iowa is recognized. mr. loebsack: at this point, mr. speaker, i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from iowa continues to reserve his time. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. walden: i thank the speaker. next up on our side i'd like to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from north dakota, mr. cramer, who brings extensive experience in all of this realm of both electric and communications based on his vast background in this during his days in the public utility commission in north dakota. and has been a huge asset on our subcommittee. with that, mr. chairman, i yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from north dakota. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north dakota is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. cramer: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank chairman walden for
yielding the time and for his important leadership. i think it's worth noting as i know representative loebsack and several of us from rural districts often get involved in issues like this. i always like to remind people that representative walden's district is actually larger than the state of north dakota. that's how rural we are. we all know iowa's a rural state. i think this bill is a great representation of what happens when a coalition of rural states and districts get together and try to do the right thing for the people we work for. so it's a pleasure to be part of that. i will be brief because the leadership have already outlined the essence of the bill very effectively. i spend just a minute or two talking about the reality of the importance of this to a place like north dakota. to place like rural oregon and iowa and other places where distance is greater than the population. where the advantages of access to something as dynamic as the internet makes all the
difference in the world for education opportunities, for health care accessibility, for individual use. that's a challenge in rural america that, frankly, many of our small internet service providers and communication and technology companies have been meeting all along with plenty of things going against them. not the most of which is much of the broadband in rural america has been done even when it's not economically advantageous to do at the time. the burdensome regulations intended or unintended, that came from the f.c.c. rule, just don't apply to everybody. and i think that the standards that we set, the negotiation that's created the benchmarks for access deployment, were appropriate. 250,000 consumers, the size of the companies, hits just right, that sweet spot. not only because it was
negotiated and it's got consensus but tause because it's the right number. -- but because it's the right number. we don't want to stifle innovation. we want to expand innovation. especially in something as dynamic as the internet. this act does it. i'm honored to be a part of it. hobored to be a member of the committee. i -- honored to be a mefment committee. thaming ranking member eshoo and representative loebsack and chairman walden for their leadership on it. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north dakota yields back. the gentleman from iowa is recognized. mr. loebsack: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from iowa continues to reserve. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. walden: mr. speaker, i don't see any other speakers on our side of the aisle. with that i would reserve and allow the gentleman from iowa to go ahead and close. i would follow him. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from iowa will be recognized to close debate for the minority. mr. loebsack: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, chairman walden, for working on this once again. thanks to our staffs again for
working on this compromise. just one last thing, i would like to remind folks that transparency is a good thing. and the f.c.c. has good intentions when they talk about transparency and making sure that consumers understand what they are getting for their money. and so as far as i'm concerned we have to continue to provide that transparency, but we have to make sure that we do it in the way we are doing it in this particular legislation to have that balance that those i.s.p.'s, small i.s.p.'s can continue to provide that access in the first place as i mentioned already in my remarks. it's a great compromise. i'm not such a pollyana to believe this is the -- pollyanna to believe this is the beginning of great things to happen. but i thank everyone for working on this and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from oregon is recognized to close debate.
mr. walden: mr. speaker, thank you and again, i want to machado thigh bleeg -- my colleague from iowa whos been -- who has been a great partner in fithe finding the sweet spot here as we move forward on policy that will help us allow these great innovators and inventors to serve our constituents and offer competition in the marketplace and not just because they're small, be snuffed out by a government that requires things they can't afford to do. and take money away from innovation. they still have to, as you know, follow all the laws and all the protections and all that. it's just this reporting requirement seemed pretty onerous. obviously the f.c.c. thought it was when they first came out with their rule. we concur with that and extends that exception onous -- exemption on out. i'm proud of the work mr. loebsack, myself and others have done on our subcommittee. this marks the fifth piece of legislation that we've brought to the house floor in this congress and one -- in one capacity or another. we passed the f.c.c. consolidated reporting legislation, mr. speaker.
unanimously across this house floor. this is designed to deal with that antiquated statutory requirements on reports that aren't needed, oftentimes aren't completed, and yet cost money to taxpayers and those who pay fees. so we have a consolidated report that's designed to simplify that process, save taxpayers money, and decrease the federal bureaucracy a bit. that's over in the senate now, mr. speaker. we passed a ft -- f.t.c. process reform legislation that we reached bipartisan agreement on as well. i think it passed unanimously through the house, mr. speaker. this is really important because we're trying to shed a little light on the f.c.c.'s activities and bring fairness and transparency to federal communications commission, so that the public, the consumers, the stakeholders also have a -- all have a better opportunity to see how policy that will affect them is being deliberated, considered, or even what's proposed. that bill is over in the senate. and then we dealt with the issue
of what we call the dot comact, to make sure that -- dot-com act, to ensure that when the contract runs out on how internet naming agency and all works and all the i can pieces, that consumers are protected and will continue to have a free internet, free from government intrusion, free and as it has been, to innovate and create this enormous change. that passed the house i think with over 380 votes. and the spectrum pipeline legislation actually was part of the bipartisan budget agreement we passed at the end of last year, so that's now in law as a matter of fact. and this marks, as i say, our fifth initiative to try and help this great sector of our economy continue to expand, that provides access to the world, provides access to commerce and jobs in a rural setting. i can't tell you how important this is in a district such as mine, where people now can locate in a smaller community, in a rural environment, with a
great lifestyle, connect in to the internet and be able to conduct commerce and grow jobs. and so, mr. speaker, this is a fine piece of legislation, represents really solid work, and is really important to a lot of startup and small companies across our country. we need to help grow, expand and be the next competitor in the -- and the next one to really move up and give us all as consumers more competition and better service. mr. speaker, thanks for your indulgence. i thank my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. with that i yield back the balance of my time and ask for our members from both sides of the aisle to join us in bipartisan support of this legislation, which by the way, mr. speaker, is also supported by the administration. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for general debate on this bill has now expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. veasey: i have an amendment at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment 1 printed in part a of house report 114-453 offered by mr. veasey of
texas. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 640, the gentleman from texas, mr. veasey, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. veasey: mr. speaker, thank you. i rise in support of my amendment to h.r. 4596, which simply adds an additional component to the required report from the f.c.c. my amendment requests the agency to also answer whether a permanent exemption from enhanced disclosure for small internet providers or i.s.p.'s could increase access to the services offered to -- by the small businesses. as many of you already know, these exemptions were created in the f.c.c.'s most recent update to the open internet order. as congress considers modifying or making this exemption permanent, it's important to know the impact this would have for those people the order was intended to protect, in this
case, the consumers. mr. speaker, the real purpose of a permanent exemption should not be to just lighten the load for these businesses, but also to increase access to broadband services in general. even in urban areas like the dallas-fort worth metropolitan plecks that i represent, there's still an alarm diagnose -- metroplex that i represent, there's still an alarming number of people without access to broadband services and congress must work to expand internet access. my amendment would simply have the f.c.c. provide additional information regarding the affects of a permanent extension on small i.s.p.'s, consumer-based. however, after speaking with -- consumer-based. however, after speaking with my colleague, including the gentleman from iowa, mr. loebsack, i'm confident that the goal of my amendment will be achieved through the bill itself and therefore i ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? mr. walden: reserving the right to object, mr. speaker. only to thank the gentleman for his participation in this
process and debate. mr. speaker, i would just say that we look forward to working with you on these issues, we share this concern. and we appreciate your participation. the door's always open. and happy to continue. because we all want the same outcome here for our consumers. mr. speaker, finally, i failed to put -- asked to have a letter entered into the record, of support for our underlying bill. signed by the heads of the american cable association, c.a., ccia, wispa, wta advocates for rural broadband, the rural broadband coalition, the national telecommunications association, mr. chairman, so i'd like to have that entered into the record in support of this effort. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman's reservation is withdrawn. without objection, the gentleman's amendment is withdrawn. and the letter requested by the
gentleman from oregon will be placed in the record, without objection. pursuant to the rule, the previous question is now ordered n the bill as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to ensure small business providers of broadband internet access service can devote resources to broadband deployment rather than complibes with cumbersome regulatory requirements. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
the ayes have it. the bill is passed. the gentleman from oregon. mr. walden: on that i would ask for the yeas and nays, please. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on the uestion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule
obama named his nominee to replace the late antonin scalia on the supreme court. merrick garland is the chief judge for the u.s. court of appeals for the district of columbia. here's the announcement. president obama: good morning, please have a seat. of the many powers and responsibilities that the constitution vests in the esidency, few are more consequential than appointing a supreme court justice. particularly one to succeed justice scalia, one of the most influential jurists of our time. the men and women who sit on the supreme court are the final arbiters of american law. they safeguard our rights. they ensure that our system is one of laws and not men. they're charged with the essential task of applying principles put to paper more than two centuries ago to some of the most challenging
questions of our time. so this is not a responsibility that i take lightly. it's a decision that requires me to set aside short-term expediency and narrow politics, so as to maintain faith with our founders and perhaps more importantly with future generations. that's why over the past several weeks, i've done my best to set up a rigorous and comprehensive process. i've sought the advice of republican and democratic congress. we've reached out to every member of the senate judiciary committee to constitutional scholars, to advocacy groups, to bar associations representing an array of interests and opinions from all across the spectrum. and today, after completing this exhaustive process, i've made my decision. i've selected a nominee who is widely recognized not only as one of america's sharpest legal
minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modest -- moddiest and integrity, even-handedness and excellence. these qualities and his long commitment to public service have earned him the respect and admiration of leaders from both sides of the aisle. he will ultimately bring that same character to bear on the supreme court. an institution in which he is uniquely prepared to serve immediately. today i am nominating chief judge merrick brian garland to join the supreme court. [applause] [applause] now, in law enforcement circles
and in the legal community at large, judge garland needs no introductionment but i'd like to take a minute to introduce merrick to the american people whom he already so ably serves. he was born and raised in the land of lincoln, in my hometown of chicago and my home state of illinois. his mother volunteered in the community, his father ran a small business out of their home. .
the speaker pro tempore: the question is on pass afpblgt bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, whi is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united stateshouse of representatives. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation withhe united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibed by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 411 and the nays are zero. the bill is passed. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from kentucky, mr. hitfield, to suspend the rules on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2416, a bill to extend the led line for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by
2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion by the gentleman from kentucky, mr. whitfield, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4434, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4434, a bill to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 417. the nays are two. 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
the house will be in order. members will please remove their conversations from off the floor. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. president obama's trip to cuba is ill-conceived and premature. a fun trip, the president labeled it. the visit comes on the heels of deck collarations by the -- declarations by the communist party saying they will not give up a single inch of anti-
imperialist ideals, end quote. this translates to over 2,555 arbitrary detentions of peaceful protessors between january and february of -- protesters between january and february of 2016 alone and over 8,000 arrests last year. the president's meeting with civil society is just a low benchmark. the official cuban newspaper stated that obama's visit destroys the myth that cuba violates human rights. the leader of the free world has chosen a legacy shopping photo op, enjoying a baseball game with a murdererer and a thug. we must support -- murderer and a thug. we must support peaceful dem on rations at 11:00 a.m. sunday in front of the bay of pigs by two groups.
the exile community in miami, who has welcomed many of castro's former political prisoners is painfully aware of the trampling of human rights still going on today. this is not a fun trip for peaceful dissidents. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman will provide a translation of her remarks. ms. ros-lehtinen: yes, sir. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon seek recognition? mr. defazio: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. defazio: well, today washington, d.c., was a little bit more of a mess than usual. the metro was shut down. in part it's a consequence of mismanagement for years, but more importantly, it is a statement about the deteriorated state of transit in america. here is an $18 billion, b, billion backlog of capital needed to bring existing new transit -- not new transit to get people out of their car and out of traffic and to mitigate
congestion -- just to bring existing transit up to a state of good repair. as i've been talking around the country the last couple of years i say, things are so bad they're killing people in washington, d.c., and that's what's been happening. it has deteriorated to the point we had one accident that killed six people, a fire that killed one person. we need to make these repairs. we need to have the strongest buy america of transit. it will give americans jobs. it will give americans better commuting opportunities. it will make people safe on transit, but this body has failed to bring forward or even allow a vote on additional funding for transportation infrastructure in this country. it is a crisis. we are becoming third or maybe fourth world in our infrastructure. bridges falling down. potholes and transit systems that are falling apart. it's time to invest in america. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition?
mr. poe: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the veterans administration failed to contact thousands of veterans who submitted applications for health care. apparently those applications were incomplete, but the v.a. did not tell the vets to correct the applications and resubmit them, so the applications were left pending on a shelf with no action by the v.a. and no health care for the veterans. reports state that nearly 300,000 veterans died waiting for a resolution from the v.a. of course, the v.a. blamed the veterans. this is a farce. the veterans never even received a follow-up call to finish their supposedly incomplete applications. these mistakes are that of the v.a., not the veterans. the v.a. should be ashamed. government bunningling stood in bungling these --
stood in the way of health care. the v.a.'s dysfunctional bureaucrats need to be removed, and veterans should be allowed to have a voucher that gives them the privilege to go to their own doctors, doctors that are more concerned about health care than paperwork, and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute mr. ellison: mr. speaker, i come to the well today to pay homage and honor to a great minnesotan and a member of this body, martin olaf sable was the congressperson who preceded me to represent the fifth congressional district, and i can say without any reservation at very, very few people can boast to be greater public servants than martin sable. martin sable served more than 40 years in public life, 28
years in congress. he was chair of the budget committee and he was also a good friend to all. i will say that he was -- was always gracious, well-mannered. he was a helpful person, and he was available to mentor literally hundreds of minnesota politicians and public activists and servants. and so it is with heavy heart that i give these remarks because, of course, it will be wonderful to have all of our friends, including martin sable, be with us for a long, long time but, of course, every one of us does leave this world. and when they do, they would be very, very lucky to make the mark that martin sable did, a great man, a great minnesotan. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from virginia seek recognition? without, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute.
mrs. comstock: mr. speaker, yesterday afternoon, the washington metropolitan area transit authority, our metro system, informed they would be suspending operations all day today into tonight. while i appreciate that our new general manager had to make this decision to keep our riders safe, what this does is highlight much more widespread problems throughout the system that have been present for years and that we have to address here. we know there's a cultural change in the management that needs to happen here, and that's what we all, our whole delegation, when we met with the new manager at the end of last year, told him we knew we needed to have a management change and we need to see some action taking quickly. i appreciate the transportation chairman is going to have some hearings and i'll read just one quote, giving you an example of why we need to make some changes here. this was a trainee at metro who talked about the incompetence there and he said, i'll be honest with you.
i studied harder for fast food jobs and waiter jobs i did in college than i did at metro. their testing program is a joke. this is from a washingtonian article in december of last year. things got even stranger when the new hire started on-the-job training. thank you and i just ask that these metro lifers who haven't left this facility, they need to start leaving. we need to start having a new management culture there. thank you, mr. speaker. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentlewoman from wyoming, mrs. lummis, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mrs. lummis: thank you, mr. chairman. before i begin i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the
subject of this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. lummis: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to welcome my colleagues for a special order about women's history month, this month of march we are blessed with the opportunity to discuss what the opportunities are, particularly presented by the republican party and the philosophies of the republican party, as they relate to women. women's history and women's future. and the opportunity to be involved in building women up and providing opportunities in the future, an opportunity culture that is shared by men and women. to make sure that our homeland is safe and secure, to make sure that our families are in an environment that will be uplifting. and these are some of the topics we'll be discussing today.
i am joined by several colleagues. one of which i would like to call on first, and incidentally, the first colleague i'm calling on is a man. a republican man with whom i graduated from law school as a student at the university of wyoming college of law. my own home state of wyoming is the first government in the world to continuously grant women the right to vote. .hat occurred in 1869 and colorado, the home state of this gentleman, is the first state to grant women the right to vote. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. buck. mr. buck: i thank the gentlelady from wyoming. my friend and law school classmate. for her great leadership on this issue. i'm proud to come from a state that was not only the first to give women the right to vote, but the first to elect women to the state legislature. my wife is continuing that great tradition as a member of
the colorado general assembly. many women have impacted our neighborhoods, our communities and our nation. but i want to speak briefly today about the many women who will impact our world. they have ideas and ambitions and callings, they have machines to invent deals to negotiate people to heal, books to write and legislation to pass. republicans are advancing an agenda to help these women impact our future. we're focused on making the country more secure, on creating jobs, on replacing obamacare with a patient-centered alternative, on extending opportunity to all children, and on protecting the freedom at the heart of our prosperity. women don't need government getting in their way. that's why the efforts of congress to reassert its authority and rollback executive overreach are so vital. congress has a responsibility to create an environment where women thrive. in 100 years, i hope we're celebrating the women who make this country great, not lamenting the government that stopped it.
i thank the gentlelady and yield back. mrs. lummis: i thank the gentleman for being here today, for acknowledging the importance of women's history month, and the involvement of women in politics and government and leadership in his home state of colorado. i also want to thank him for making a statement now so he can run over and give an opening statement on renewable fuel standards in the oversight and government reform committee that i chair and he subchairs. thank you very much to the gentleman from colorado. next i would like to introduce a longstanding colleague that is well known to this house of representatives, virginia foxx has done more on work force development issues in the last couple of years and have been -- that have been done in many, many years in this house of representatives. she is the first in her family to graduate from college, earn
a masters and docket rate degree and then went -- doctorate degree and then went on to become the president of an institute of higher learning, a community college. her presidency there also lifted education in her home state. she's the chairwoman of the house subcommittee on higher education and work force training. with that, mr. speaker, i happily yield to the gentlewoman from north carolina's fifth district, virginia foxx. ms. foxx: thank you, congresswoman lummis, for your leadership in this special order tonight. this afternoon. and for all the great work that you have done. you are a wonderful role model for women and you have lent your expertise as the former treasurer of your state and brought much, much talent to the house of representatives. and i appreciate all that you
have done since you've been here. we all know, i think, that march is women's history month, which honors and celebrates the struggles and achievements of american women throughout the history of the united states. since 1917, when republican rankin from mop became the first woman to serve in -- montana became the first woman to serve in congress, 313 women have served as u.s. representatives, senators or delegates. many americans might assume that their congressional representatives come from exclusive and rarified backgrounds. my story could hardly be less rarified. as a child my family's home didn't have electricity or running water. my parents, while dedicated and hard workworking, were very -- hardworking, were very poor with little formal education. girls with my background weren't likely to end up in congress. fortunately i was pushed by the right people. teachers and administraters who wouldn't let me settle for less than my best.
in the mountains of north carolina, i learned firsthand the power of education and its vital role in the success of every american. although it took me seven years while working full time, i became the first in my family to go to college and earn a degree. in the 1970's, i was a member of the league of women voters. through the league, i attended school board meetings in my county, as a public observer to encourage accountability of elected officials. i went to countless meetings, many times as the only person representing the general public. during one meeting of an all-male school board, a local reporter leaned over and said, these guys are incompetent. why don't you run for the school board? my instinctive response was, i'm not qualified. and i think many women fall pray that -- prey to this attitude of self-disqualification and underestimate their abilities.
i took another look at those board members and changed my mind. eventually i ran for the school board. while i lost the first race, i won the next election for school board and haven't lost an election since. while i may not have had wealthy parents or an ivy league education, i did have what every single american has, opportunity. a few weeks ago i spoke to a local girl scout troop about congress and its role in our government. as the group was leaving my office, one of the parents pulled me aside and said, how glad she was that the girls had the opportunity to hear from a woman in my position. women are a stronger presence than ever been on capitol hill. we have -- before on capitol hill. we have rich and vary idea perspectives. the women of the 114th congress are shaping our nation and it's an opportunity and responsibility that we take
seriously. although i'm not serving in my sixth term as a representative from north carolina, i'm still really a teacher at heart. having spent the lion share of my life working as an educator and administrater in north carolina colleges and universities. i believe confronting the challenges facing america's schools and workplaces is critical to providing opportunity for every individual to get ahead. that's why, as chairwoman of the house subcommittee on higher education and work force, i've led efforts to modernize and reform the nation's work force development system, and i appreciate very much my colleague mentioning that. in 2014 the work force innovation and opportunity act was signed into law. this bipartisan, bicameral compromise between the skills act that i authored and the senate's work force investment act of 2013 streamlines and improves existing federal work force development programs and
fosters a modern work force that american businesses can rely on to compete. house republicans have also fought to limit one-size-fits-all federal dictates that hamper innovation and limit the ability of states and local schools to address their students' needs. last fall we passed the every student succeeds act, which reverses washington's micromanagement of classrooms and gives parents, teachers and local education leaders the tools they need to repair a broken system and help all children reach their potential. unfortunately many americans still struggle to realize the dream of higher education because our current system is often expensive, inflexible and outdated. too many students are unable to complete college, saddled with loan debt and ill-equipped to compete in our modern economy. the united states is the world's summit of opportunity
and we have a responsibility to act now, to preserve that role. house republicans are pursuing reforms that will help all individuals, regardless of age, location or background. access and complete higher education, if they so choose. we're working to empower students and families to make informed decisions. we want to simplify and improve student aid as well as promote innovation, access and completion. and we're committed to ensuring strong accountability and a limited federal role. by keeping college within reach for students and preserving the excellence and diversity that has always set america's colleges and universities apart, our country and our economy stand to benefit. while women's history month celebrates the incredible accomplishments of women throughout america's history, the most lasting tribute we can pay in our efforts to improve this nation for the next
generation of women, rather than simply being discouraged by the many problems facing our country and our world, i've learned to be an agent of change, focused on the problems that can be solved and the people who can be helped. i thank my friend who encouraged me back in the 1970's to run for the school board, because of the opportunities it has provided to me, to help other people throughout my life. and i yield back. mrs. lummis: we thank you for joining us. we're tackling five big priorities that women care about this year. national security, jobs, health care, upward mobility and balance of power. and you just heard from congresswoman foxx about jobs, about education, upward mobility that comes through those avenues. the other areas we're talking about include national security and health care.
and no one in congress is better prepared to address those issues than our next speaker. mr. speaker, i'd like to welcome the first woman to represent the second district of north carolina, which includes all of fort bragg, home of the airborne and special operations forces. she served on the house energy and commerce committee since 2012, and currently serves as chairman of the republican women's policy committee. prior to running for office, she worked as a registered nurse, for over 21 years, an owned a general surgery practice with her husband in dunn, north carolina. i'm pleased to welcome the chairman of our republican women's policy committee, someone with real-life experience in the areas of health care and representing a district that is so profoundly influential in this nation's national security.
mr. speaker, i welcome congresswoman ellmers. mrs. ellmers: thank you to my friends and colleagues from wyoming, mrs. lummis. i just want to say how much i appreciate your leadership, especially today, as we're talking about women's history month, and the different roles that we as women in congress are playing in how we want to formulate and build the structure into the future for all women and i thank you for your service to all of us representing wyoming. mr. speaker, today is -- this month is women's history month. it is an opportunity to highlight the various ways women in america are pushing the envelope to leave a positive and lasting imprint on society. as the first woman to represent north carolina's second district and the first woman